Explaining BouwData - part 6

First there was the sun with outdoor activities and then there were a lot of classic tenders to make a bid on. So, in the past month, my workplace resembled a lot my fancy old office filled with boxes full of paper. Luckily the paperwork was replaced by digital files. But there was another difference: although the projects where very different and for multiple clients, I always felt part of a team. So, to all of these clients: a warm thank you for achieving where my previous bosses failed !

But back to the future and BouwData now. 

The backbone of the different sets of agreements is the object code, a code with focus on function and life cycle cost. It can be used from the early consideration to invest in real estate to the phase of real cost engineering where knowledge about labor, material, equipment and subcontracting is necessary. It is from the object code that you can relate to the material code - the language of the contractor - and to the development code - the language of the developer.

It will take me some "parts" to explain its full depth, though.

The starting point was, as with the material code, the search for the standards to be used. And again the Netherlands proofed to be way ahead of Belgium.

On the highest, most general level, you have the same standard in Belgium and Holland: the NBN B06-003 / NEN 2631. This standard started his life in the Netherlands in 1979 and Belgium followed in 1983, 5 years later. Its focus is on investment costs and sums up, quite precisely, the kind of cost you need to consider :

  1. the acquisition of the ground you want to build on and the costs you have to make it ready for the contractor to plug in the socket and start building. Yes, this includes getting rid of trees, bushes and all kind of dirt, making sure that the groundwater has dropped sufficiently  if necesarry and that electricity and water is available on site. 
    Why ? Well, these costs can have an influence on you're choice of spot you want to realise your project on, more or less regardless of the design
  2. the cost of the building itself including all equipment which is fixed to the building and not related to the production process which will occur when the building is in use.
    Important to notice: in this fairly old standard they already stated that there are different levels and ways to look at these costs: from the point of view from the developer (e.g. if you want to build a hospital, costs are in the earliest phase related to the number of beds), over the point of view from the designer (elements of the model), what you need when tendering to the point of view from the constructor (the sequence of coming to the building site).
  3. the cost of equipment related to the use of the building
  4. additional costs such as fees for designers, assurance, financing, moving into the building, etc.
Quite I good start and still accurate today but it is lacking detail.

In 2002, they realised this in the Netherlands as well. So they made the NEN 2634 which related the previous standard on investment costs to the international table 1 concerning elements of a new design of the SfB, the international classification system for construction. In this standard they define more precisely all phases of the design and building process and state how costs should be defined in every single one of them.

The object code is also the set of agreements to discuss Life Cycle Cost. 
The previous standards where made in a time where the world of design & construction had nothing to do with the world of facility management. In those days, nobody had ever heard of LCC. So I searched for standards in that world and yes, they also had felt the need of organising their costs. And again, the Netherlands proofed to be ahead of Belgium. They installed the NEN 2632 in 1980 and Belgium followed by taken it entirely over in 1983, calling it the NBN B06-004.

So, looking at all these standards I had sufficient background to relate it to my 15 years of estimating experience.

How ? Read the next part ! And I promise not to wait another month this time :o)

Kind regards.